As evidenced by yesterday’s article on Sharetribe, the “sharing economy” is going everywhere. One new startup now out of Copenhagen’s Startupbootcamp is Sharingear, sort of an AirBNB for touring equipment that should make it a lot easier for bands to hit the road and make some money.
It’s clear today that touring is much more important to bands these days thanks to the fact that no one is really buying music anymore, so touring light and lean rather than lugging around huge amps and gear can cut down costs. Founder Mircea Eftemie tells us, “I got really excited by the sharing economy and collaborative consumption, and thought to myself ‘why not create a place for every musician to make a little bit of money to share instruments?'”
Their platform is designed to transform the world of mouth manner of connections into a straightforward marketplace. So if you need anything from guitars or an amp, to a road crew, or even a touring bus, Sharingear plans on having it all categorized, rated, and ready to be rented out. Currently the platform is in a beta building up the marketplace in Copenhagen, expanding it then to Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia, before taking on the world.
Eftemie has plenty of experience with the needs for a touring band. He’s been a professional musician for 10 years as the guitarist and singer behind Mnemic, where he’s toured to five continents and warmed up for Metalica a few times, and has also opened up the orange stage as Roskilde, one of the biggest music festivals in Europe. There he’s seen the ins-and-outs of small venues and one of the larger stages you can play at.
As an outsider its hard to picture what the market of touring musicians is actually like, but it’s a fairly big economy to plug into. According to Sharingear’s numbers, there are 4.5 million concerts per year in the US and Europe alone. And on the supply side, there are 385 million households with at least one person that has an instrument. A good size town like Copenhagen has 3,000 shows per year while London counts a whopping 40,000 per year. That’s a lot of gear and people moving in and out of these cities.
“There are two aspects to the market,” says Eftemie, “the 20% are bands like Metallica that will never use [Sharingear to rent an amp], but if they’re not actively touring then so many technicians will be out of a job. Our platform will connect technicians to jobs basically, and that goes for tour busses and so on. The other 80% of the market are non established to up-and-coming to semi established. They want to tour a lot more, and we lower production costs for these artists.”
On the supply side there are plenty of bands and amateur musicians that could use an extra buck by renting out their gear. Additionally Sharingear has partnered with Scandinavia’s largest backline company, which typically only works in a B2B by providing gear for bigger events like festivals.
Currently the company says they’re looking for the right investor that understands this market and can help them grow.